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Coevolution of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster light using CLASH

Burke, C and Hilton, M and Collins, CA (2015) Coevolution of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster light using CLASH. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 449 (3). pp. 2353-2367. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We examine the stellar mass assembly in galaxy cluster cores using data from the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH). We measure the growth of brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) stellar mass, the fraction of the total cluster light which is in the intracluster light (ICL) and the numbers of mergers that occur in the BCG over the redshift range of the sample, 0.18 < z < 0.90. We find that BCGs grow in stellar mass by a factor of 1.4 on average from accretion of their companions, and this growth is reduced to a factor of 1.2 assuming 50 per cent of the accreted stellar mass becomes ICL, in line with the predictions of simulations. We find that the ICL shows significant growth over this same redshift range, growing by a factor of 4–5 in its contribution to the total cluster light. This result is in line with our previous findings for ICL at higher redshifts, however, our measured growth is somewhat steeper than is predicted by simulations of ICL assembly. We find high-mass companions and hence major merging (mergers with objects of masses ≥1/2 of the BCG) to be very rare for our sample. We conclude that minor mergers (mergers with objects with masses <1/2 of the BCG) are the dominant process for stellar mass assembly at low redshifts, with the majority of the stellar mass from interactions ending up contributing to the ICL rather than building up the BCG. From a rough estimate of the stellar mass growth of the ICL we also conclude that the majority of the ICL stars must come from galaxies which fall from outside of the core of the cluster, as predicted by simulations. It appears that the growth of the ICL is the major evolution event in galaxy cluster cores during the second half of the lifetime of the Universe.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record "Coevolution of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster light using CLASH", MNRAS, vol. 449(3, pp.2353-67 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv450
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 11:19
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 17:48
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stv450
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1462

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